This past week, Charles Hurt, passed away. We at Oldham County in the late 70’s new him as “Charlie” or enemy number one. He played for Shelby County and lead them to a state championship his junior year. Shelby County was our top rival and visits to their gym became a right of passage for those willing to brave the trip and their rowdy fan base.
My sophomore year, we played Shelby in the 8th Region semifinals and we beat them, ending Hurt’s high school career. It was during this game I asked out my first date (who said yes, thankfully) and with Shelby’s loss, the day was perfect.
Charlie Hurt went on to play for the University of Kentucky, eventually being drafted into the NBA. It was the first time in my life I had to find a way to cheer for a former member of the evil empire, but Charlie Hurt made it easy. I tireless worker, the man carried himself with class.
After bouncing around several leagues, Hurt joined the military and served overseas with the 82nd Airborne and by all accounts, did so with the same dedication to duty and his fellow soldiers he showed in his basketball worth ethic.
At the age of fifty-five, Hurt lost his battle with leukemia. Like many UK fans, I had no idea he was ill until reading about his death in the paper. With Charlie’s passing, a part of my childhood passed with him. We need to all keep his family and friends in our prayers.